Style Icon - Jon Kortajarena

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His name is Jon Kortajarena, a 25 year old Spanish born model, known for his distinguishing chiselled cheekbones, effortless style and a dark, fly-away mop of hair. The Spaniard seems to be everywhere; from bus stops and billboards to high end magazines and award shows. You can’t go far at the moment without noticing Jon Kortajarena. If you are unfamiliar with his name then I am sure you recognise him from H&M's winter campaign, as well as being the face of recent advertisements at Pepe Jeans, Next, Martinique, Tom Ford and Guess. He also featured In Tom Ford’s directorial début A Single Man in 2009, and in the same year GQ voted him their Model Of The Year.

Jon was discovered at Fashion Week whilst visiting a friend who was attending a show. His initial meetings went very well and he was soon required to move from Bilbao – his hometown – to Paris. He threw himself head first into the fashion world and has never looked back.
The reason I believe Jon Kortajarena is a style icon is because of his dishevelled brand of elegance and for imposing his own style and unique look on all his photo shoots and campaigns. He looks as sartorially savvy in both casual knits and denim as he does in a Tom Ford suit, and looks just as cultivated when walking the red carpet as he does in the street. He wears clothes that suit his tall and slim physique, and you don’t have to be an international model to understand the importance of dressing to your frame.
It is easy to argue that gauging a male model’s sense of style is a bit of a farce because their job is to be dressed by other people, and thus they may not have a style identity of their own. But I believe, as with David Gandy, Jon Kortajarena knows what suits him and stamps his authority and individuality on the outfits he wears. He trusts his own frame to give loose casuals and knits the shape and elegance required, once again championing the effortless presence that he has. When wearing more tailored and formal outfits Jon looks sharp and measured but when this is coupled with stubble and full head of semi-styled looking hair it presents a look that is traditional but with a modern edge, and this is something that we can all achieve with a little creativity in our wardrobe and grooming.

To get Jon’s day to day look it’s all about not trying too hard. Being a male model it would be easy to fall into the glamour trap – dressing in ornate designer labels and showy pieces – but Kortajarena prefers a more subtle and understated ensemble, teaming chunky knits with scooped tees and denim with flannel shirts. Sometimes the simplest of outfits can attract the most attention and it’s all about shape and layering.
If you are opting for a more tailored or formal wardrobe this season then why not take a leaf out of Jon’s book and choose slim fitting, tapered cloths that hug your body shape, and if you are a tall and slim fellow then tailored pieces are perfect for accentuating height and tone.

How to achieve the Jon Kortajarena look:
  • Use layering for a functional yet attractive ensemble.
  • Grow out that hair and stubble for a modern, masculine look.
  • Consider tailored, slim evening and formal wear that flatters the frame.
  • Chunky knits can add sophistication.
  • Dress to your body shape.
  • Learn Spanish to complete the rugged, devil-may-care Mediterranean look. Well that bit is optional, but it might work.

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Jon Kortajarena Informations

Jon Kortajarena Redruello (born 19 May 1985 in Bilbao, Spain) is a Spanish male model. He is known for his distinguishing hair, chiseled cheekbones, piercing stare, and full pout. He has landed advertising campaigns for Just Cavalli, Versace, Giorgio Armani, Bally, Etro, Trussardi, Diesel, Mangano, Lagerfeld, Pepe Jeans but notably Matinique, H&M, Guess and Tom Ford for his consecutive seasons with the brands. On June 26, 2009, Forbes ranked Jon Kortajarena 8th in The World's 10 Most Successful Male Models.
Kortajarena currently ranks No. 8 on's Top 50 Male Models, and at No. 7 on their Top 25 The Money Guys list.

Kortajarena was discovered while vacationing in Barcelona when he went with a friend who got invited to attend a fashion show. There, Eduardo Sayás, a booker from View Management, noticed him and persuaded him to give the fashion world a go. His first professional experience was in Cibeles fashion show for Roberto Verino. Being a minor then, he had to convince his parents to let him travel to Paris. So he left Bilbao, his hometown, and started stepping into fashion in the French capital. In 2004, at the age of 18, Kortajarena became the face of Just Cavalli for Roberto Cavalli's spring campaign which quickly jet started his career. He made his international fashion show debut at the fall Milan and Paris fashion weeks for Emporio Armani and John Galliano. Two months later, in New York, Steven Meisel photographed him for Versace. Kortajarena's other runway credentials include walking for Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani, John Galliano, and Chanel in Milan and Paris. Kortajarena appeared in a commercial for the sugar-free, Fanta Z “Mediterraneo”, a TV ad in 2005 which poked fun at the departed Fanta Lite. Its content, though, quickly drew complaints in Britain and it eventually became restricted to the post-9pm broadcasts.

In 2007, Kortajarena signed with GUESS? and renewed his contract again in 2008. With new campaigns on the stands at once Terry Richardson photographs Kortajarena for Tom Ford alongside Noah Mills and would become the label’s signature male model for the next consecutive seasons. He was featured on the cover of the spring/summer 2008 issue of L'Officiel Hommes magazine, devoting him 200 pages, with the cover title reading “200 Pages of Fashion with Jon Kortajarena”. It was the first time a male model had achieved this and consequently it became a reference in the industry, other models to follow such honor were Andres Velencoso and Arthur Sales. In various campaigns, Kortajarena is known to be portrayed as having a foot fetish such as in Tom Ford's s/s 2008 eyewear ad, and in the latest s/s 2009 ads for Brian Atwood and Diesel. For the 2009 spring men’s wear and eyewear advertising campaigns Jon was art directed and photographed, for the first time, by Tom Ford himself. On June 26, 2009, Forbes published its list of The World's 10 Most Successful Male Models ranking Kortajarena in 8th place. In November Kortajarena was named by German GQ as Model of the Year. Also Spain's Marie Claire awards "Prix de la Moda" awarded him Best Spanish Model for 2009. Ending the year, Kortajarena appeared in Tom Ford's directorial debut, A Single Man. Although he appeared for only five-minutes he became memorable as Carlos with his James Dean looks. Jon emerged as the one to watch.

Breaking into 2010 with ad campaigns for H&M, True Trussardi and Esprit; Kortajarena modeled alongside Alexa Chung for Pepe Jeans fall/winter Campaign. He was in the Next autumn/winter campaign and in its TV advert that launched on September 10, alongside Emanuela de Paula. In 2011 he became one of the models to star in Lacoste's $66 million new advertising concept under the new tagline, “Unconventional Chic”. The ads were shot by Mert and Marcus showing models wearing the iconic white Lacoste polo shirts worn over eveningwear.

His mother is a hairdresser and the one who does his hair. Kortajarena is good friends with fellow models Andres Velencoso, Oriol Elcacho, Angelique Dhaze and Matteo Casnici. If he weren't modeling he'd be studying Publicity and Public Relations; however, he notes that interior designing, cinema and photography are some fields he has always been curious about. His hobbies include watching independent films, reading books by Paulo Coelho, sunbathing, going to the mountains with friends, and listening to music. He describes himself as an ultimate romantic. Some of his other favorite novels include Perfume, The Wheel of Life by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, and Siddhartha.


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